Chef Vikas Khanna is as much known for his scrumptious cooking and cookery shows and books as his enviable fitness which he maintains by following a healthy diet. In the third season of, ‘Kitchen, Khanna & Konversations’, Michelin star chef, Vikas Khanna is whipping up some delicious breakfast recipes with leading celebrities, Shraddha Kapoor and Shikhar Dhawan, and popular Malayalam actress and television presenter, Pearle Maaney. We caught up with him and asked him some questions around the preparation of oats that intrigue most Indians. Excerpts:
1. What are the benefits of having oats daily? Can they easily be used in making Indian dishes?
Packed with fiber and nutrients, Oats are the ultimate way to start the day. Oats are a rich source of protein, which helps in maintaining good cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. They are wholesome and so versatile, that we can pack enough flavours and whip up some inventive and delicious dishes out of them.
2. Share with us some quick 5-minute ideas to prepare oats?
I’m going to share a very simple recipe which I do, so what I do is I lightly dry roast the Oats and then I add little bit of Oats milk to them and I put lot of nuts and fruits and just consume it. That’s my typical go-to meal and you can have a small container and pack it and that just to let you know that stays well covered in a clean container for up to two days. For the show I created Kerala’s Puttu with oats and beets. Everyone loved it.
3. Can you tell us some unconventional ways to use oats?
Oats themselves are unconventional. A simple addition of oats to any regular dish, can amplify the flavour and make it interesting. They can be added to most of the dishes from drinks to snacks, to curries to pulaos and to desserts.
4. What is your favourite breakfast?
I always love a quick and easy breakfast. There was one dish that I prepared on the show – Frittata with oats and vegetables. They are easy to cook and can be made in large family portion.
5. Which is your favourite restaurant in India?
Sasuma in Surat is my all-time favourite. I recently went to Noir by Manish Khanna in Mumbai and loved it.
6. How do you like to spend an off day or a weekend when you are not working?
I have never ever taken a day off since Dec 2000. I am always cooking and testing recipes for restaurants or clients, shooting, creating documentaries or movies. I feel privileged to live this life with so many opportunities.
7. Who has been the greatest influence in your life?
I think my mother. She is calm and creates perfect balance in our lives.
8. 5 things that are always there in your kitchen.
One will always find Yogurt, Nuts and Seeds, Eggs, Oats and Soy or Almond Milk in my pantry. All these ingredients are super versatile and easily accessible in the market.
9. What is your favourite way to have oats?
It definitely has to be, adding them to the sauces or curries. It not only adds a velvety texture
but also the goodness. Also having oats in the breakfast gives me the perfect start to the day. It
provides me with good energy to run my schedules till lunch.